Science and Religion

Those who follow a religion believe that everything written in the Bible, or the Koran, or the Torah did in fact come to us through God. And as result, they’re convinced that the knowledge we gain from these books is truer than ordinary, everyday knowledge. Everyday knowledge like the bus will be here at 7:30 am or like it’s going to rain tomorrow, because mistakes with respect to this kind of knowledge are so easy to make.When someone reads let’s say the Bible, and comes to understand what is being preached in those passages, that person is so darn sure that the conclusions they have reached are obviously what God is saying to us. They start to think of these views as the “Word of God” and people all over the world have come to see these ‘truths’ as THE truth.

Even though they know there are countless intelligent people out there who don’t agree with them and who might actually believe in the complete opposite, they persist in believe that this is the truth.Science is the second form of knowledge. True, people put a lot of faith in what they’d been told are the undisputed results of scientific research. True, these same people believe that science holds more truth than religious beliefs. But, when it comes right down to it scientific knowledge is simply ordinary, everyday knowledge, based on observations made by ordinary, everyday people; and this kind of knowledge is never long-term and always opens to review and corrections. It’s not ‘foolproof’. Scientific knowledge is changing all the time.

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People always make the mistake of attaching rock-solid confidence to the results of scientific research. Regardless of this common mistake, scientific knowledge is basically ordinary, everyday knowledge, except that it has been arrived though the “scientific method”.This “scientific method” is simply a particular means for gaining knowledge, and for testing and correcting theories and beliefs. Experience has shown it to be, in a great many cases, a good procedure to follow in improving our knowledge, although our ability to use it in a pure form is conditioned very much by what area of knowledge it is in which we intend to use it. The “classic” areas where the scientific method can be used in its purest form are in physics and chemistry. The scientific method has to be modified slightly when it is used in astronomy or astrophysics, because it is not possible to get the stars and galaxies into a laboratory to analyse them, as can be done in chemistry.

 Problem: we are using these two different forms of knowledge and these two different methods of gaining knowledge, to answer the same question.Of course if both forms of knowledge give us the same answer for this same question, we don’t have a problem. But, when ‘God says’ one thing in response to this question, and science gives us a completely different answer, then we’re in trouble.

Example: “God said” that the world was created in six days, about six thousand years ago. Scientists, however, are able to prove that life existed more than millions of years ago through rocks and fossils. (You can’t fake a rock or fossil!)What ends up happening is that our knowledge becomes divided. Some will believe only once source of knowledge with respect to a certain question, and completely ignore whatever input the other source offers. We kind of shove away certain areas of science because we can’t comprehend the complexity of it and we don’t know where it fits in our own personal picture of the world. We thus, restrict ourselves to only a small part of knowledge because we just can’t get our minds to wrap around those ideas and accept them. Some people have chosen to believe what they think “God is saying”, despite the results of what hard-working scientists have uncovered for decades. Others, unfortunately, have attacked religion, which is a huge pillar in society, belittling its preaching and knowledge of God, deeming it as speculative.

A fact is just a concept, a term that we place on scientific experiments that produce the same results over and over again given the same conditions. At least, I think so. Because the thing is things are constantly changing. You can’t place fixed labels on things that are constantly changing because with change we gain new information about them and we expand our knowledge concerning the results. I mentioned this earlier. People are constantly making the mistake of assuming that whatever scientific results are handed to them must be the ultimate truth because when they reproduce it it comes out the exact same way. What they don’t realize is every day we’re discovering new elements concerning said fact, we’re find exceptions, trying to explain these exceptions, trying to disprove anything that might contradict this fact.

It’s not about finding one single answer and them accepting it as just that: one answer. Have you seen the world we live in? It is far too complex to have just one answer be able to resolve your question. It’s about many answers and putting every single piece together, like pieces of a puzzle, to get THE truth. But so then, why don’t we just revise every fact? So much knowledge has been accumulated it would require an overworked country of scientists to probably get through them all.

Don’t get me wrong; revising and correcting these facts where revision and correction is needed are essential to scientific progress but there are limitations.You can’t go around questioning whether this is true or not because then you’d never get anything done. We’d restrict ourselves to a limited amount of knowledge that we are constantly badgering about, which is not the purpose of science. If you want to move on, you must use standards, even if they are temporary, it’s far better than not having them at all. Are we lying to the greater population by not telling them what’s going on every step of the way? No. They can tune in whenever they like and follow the latest discoveries, and some do. For those who don’t, you just make do with what you have: facts.

Fiction is something that’s not real. But something can be not true for one person, and yet be true for a whole bunch of other people. Does that then make it true because majority feels it is? I don’t think so. Just because a whole bunch of people feel it’s true and agree it’s true doesn’t make it true. Majority isn’t always right. It’s like when everyone believed that the earth was the center of the universe. And then a few people, notable Galileo, came along and said it wasn’t so. Well, you know what, Galileo was right.

I guess fiction is up for personal interpretation. If you want to believe it isn’t true, go ahead. If you want to believe it’s true, good for you.I don’t really feel the issue is whether what we say is fiction really is fiction. I think the real problem is why do we feel compelled to define what is fiction and what is non-fiction for the whole of society.

People interpret things differently because people are different. You try to underline something this controversial as one thing for an entire society, a society made up of individual beings with individual opinions and reasoning, and you break it apart. So, should we just let it go and not talk about it because everyone’s going to see it differently? I can’t make that decision as one person either.